In the Matter of Paul Lafratta
July 7, 2007
Disposition Agreement

The State Ethics Commission and Paul LaFratta enter into this Disposition Agreement pursuant to Section 5 of the Commission's Enforcement Procedures. This Agreement constitutes a consented-to final order enforceable in the Superior Court, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, s. 4(j).

On May 9, 2007, the Commission initiated, pursuant to G.L. c. 268B, s. 4(a), a preliminary inquiry into possible violations of the conflict-of-interest law, G.L. c. 268A, by LaFratta. The Commission has concluded its inquiry and, on June 13, 2007, found reasonable cause to believe that LaFratta violated G.L. c. 268A.

The Commission and LaFratta now agree to the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

Findings of Fact

1. LaFratta is the North Attleborough Electrical Inspector.

2. LaFratta and his son Michael LaFratta ("Michael") also do private electrical work for their company LaFratta Electric, Inc.[1]

3. In 2005-2006, LaFratta and Michael applied for six permits to do electrical work in town. LaFratta approved these applications.

4. LaFratta's function in approving the applications was to determine whether the applicant was a duly licensed electrician and whether the estimated value of the electrical work listed on the application was consistent with the work described.

5. The Commission is not aware of any evidence indicating that:

(a) Michael or LaFratta Electric, Inc. would not have otherwise been entitled to have the applications approved;

(b) LaFratta inspected or approved any of the electrical work performed by Michael or LaFratta Electric, Inc.; and

(c) the electrical work performed by Michael or LaFratta Electric, Inc. did not comply with applicable codes.

Conclusions of Law

6. As the North Attleborough electrical inspector, LaFratta is a municipal employee within the meaning of G.L. c. 268A.

7. In relevant part, s.19 of G.L. c. 268A prohibits a municipal employee from participating as such an employee in a particular matter in which, to his knowledge, he or an immediate family member has a financial interest.

8. The applications for electrical permits were particular matters.[2]

9. LaFratta participated[3] as the electrical inspector in those particular matters by approving the applications.

10. When he participated in the particular matters, LaFratta knew that he and/or his son had financial interests in the particular matters.

11. Therefore, by acting as described above, LaFratta violated s. 19.

Resolution

In view of the foregoing violations of G.L. c. 268A by LaFratta, the Commission has determined that the public interest would be served by the disposition of this matter without further enforcement proceedings, on the basis of the following terms and conditions agreed to by LaFratta:

(1) that LaFratta pay to the Commission the sum of $3,000.00 as a civil penalty for repeatedly violating G. L. c. 268A s. 19; and

(2) that LaFratta waive all rights to contest the findings of fact, conclusions of law and terms and conditions contained in this Agreement in this or any other related administrative or judicial proceedings to which the Commission is or may be a party.

STATE ETHICS COMMISSION

/s/Diane Meibaum, General Counsel

August 7, 2007

/s/Paul LaFratta

July 7, 2007

I, Paul LaFratta have personally read the above Disposition

Agreement. I understand that it is a public document and that by signing it, I will have agreed to all of the terms and conditions therein including payment of $3,000.00 to the State Ethics Commission.

/s/Paul LaFratta

July 7, 2007

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[1] North Attleborough adopted G.L. c. 166 s. 32A in 1982, which enables LaFratta to hold his public inspector position while performing private electric work in town under certain conditions.

[2] "Particular matter" means any judicial or other proceeding, application, submission, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest, decision, determination, finding, but excluding enactment of general legislation by the general court and petitions of cities, towns, counties and districts for special laws related to their governmental organizations, powers, duties, finances and property. G.L. c. 268A, s. 1(k).

[3] "Participate," participate in agency action or in a particular matter personally and substantially as a state, county or municipal employee, through approval, disapproval, decision, recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation or otherwise. G.L. c. 268A, s. 1(j).


End Of Decision